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Passover silence speaks volumes

By Robert Cohen

Certain historical dates--the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941, John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 23, 1963--are etched in our minds forever.

The attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 was added to this list. Every event since the Twin Towers bombing has been and is labeled "post-9/11."

The Passover Massacre of Mar. 27 in Netanya, which killed 29 people and injured more than 150, became for me the most infamous of events. It changed everything.

In that one horrible event, we glimpsed prophecy on the horizon: a rise of anti-Semitism at a level not witnessed since the Holocaust. Anti-Semitism is now fashionable, as illustrated by the remarks of the French ambassador to Britain who referred to Israel as "that shitty little country."

Unprecedented anti-Semitism has traveled across the globe as synagogues have been burned and Jews beaten. Canada, Tunisia located in northern Africa and European countries, such as France and Britain, have experienced a rise in anti-Semitic incidents.

Outbreaks have even occurred on American college campuses, including the University of California at Berkely.

As my family held our Passover seder, I realized we could have been victims of the Passover Massacre. In that moment, we were no longer Messianic Jews [a Jewish branch of Christianity retaining their Jewish customs]. We were simply Jews, and my heart was filled with grief for the entire Jewish community. My heart was heavy, as if a close friend had died.

I waited for world and Christian outrage over such a grievous attack on the most sacred holiday in Judaism and Christianity.

This was no mere homicide bombing. This was a defiant against the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and an insult to His Son. Surely the connection would be made between Passover, the day of Israel's redemption from Egypt, and Passover, Yeshua's Last Supper.

The silence was deafening.

During the days and weeks that followed, I realized this transcended Israel. The global Jewish community once again stands alone. I also stand alone, not only as a Jew, but as a Messianic Jew. I shared my feelings at a Christian businessmen's breakfast on the Friday after the Massacre. Their response was wonderful. They prayed for me and many called their Jewish friends to express their sorrow and sympathy.

One businessman from another Christian group, Clay County in Unity, went so far as to organize a proclamation of churches and individuals in Clay County, where I live, who support Israel, the Messianic Jewish community and the Jewish people.

Unfortunately, this was a lone event. Life continued as usual for the vast majority of Believer and their church leaders. What they did not understand was this: If they could not stand up for the Jews in Israel now when it is safe, they will never stand up when the danger hits excruciating levels, despite their good intentions.

In the April issue of Charisma magazine, two Arab Christians argued that Israel was not entitled to its land, and all covenants with Israel had been transferred to the Church. Stephen Sizer, a prominent Christian leader in England, has confessed that even the promise of the land to the Jews had been inherited by Christians.

Christians claim the Church's hostility had nothing to do with Israel's behavior toward Palestinians. The true reason for the spreading antipathy is that anti-Semitism is rooted deep in Christian theology. [The author is talking about "Replacement theology", dating back to Origen and amillennialist interpretation of eschatology, which is commonly held by the Greco-Roman branch of Christianity and reformation churches of Europe and England.]

The Passover Massacre changed me. As a Messianic Jewish leader involved with reconciling the Church, Messianic Jews and Israel, the hard reality hit that only a few will stand and persevere with us. As Messianic Jewish leaders, we live in both the Christian and Jewish world; we live in both the Christian and Jewish world; sometimes it is hard to maintain balance. The balance was forever tipped after the massacre when I realized my primary calling was to my people. I need to stand with them.

The Passover Massacre was a slap across the face of God and Yeshua. The god of Islam threw down the gauntlet, saying, "You cannot deliver your people." This is a war between the God of Israel and the gods of this world, as depicted in Scripture.

Ezekiel 9 describes angels with writing instruments, marking the foreheads of the intercessors. We are in a similar time period when the angels are recording whether or not the people, nations and the Church support Israel and God's chosen people, the Jews.

The angels of destruction are not far behind.


Robert Cohen pastors Beth Jacob Messianic Congregation in Jacksonville, Florida, and is the chairman of the International Alliance of Messianic Congregations and Synagogues.



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